Proper way to descale an espresso machine.
I have seen all ways to descale espresso machines on this and other sites and most are wrong!
Never leave the machine heating while the descaler is in the boiler. It's OK for a few seconds but never for minutes or hours. It will turn your seals hard as a rock and the machine will start leaking. If your machine is leaking you probably left your machine on while it was descaling. Factory programs, if used do not turn the boilers on in the descale mode for this very reason.
If your machine has a factory descale mode, use it. All factory descaling programs use the flow meter to regulate the descaling. The flow meter tells the computer how much water has gone through the boiler. when the machine is out of water the flow meter will stop turning and the computer knows the machine has used up all the descaler, and it will want to be rinsed. Remember the pump has to stop on its own for the computer to know it's done! Again the flow meter will tell the computer it is rinsing and when it is again out of fresh water it will tell the computer it is done rinsing and the descaling message or light will disappear. Remember the pump has to stop on its own for the computer to know it's done! It may say descale on some computers and there is a program for resetting the descale. It's in your menu as "Reset Descale". Choose "Yes" and push the menu button to lock. It's all regulated by your water hardness. I have mine set on 4 and my water is very good. I have over 20,000 drinks, and the original boiler. Saeco(Starbucks) Barista Digital.
This method can be used on any espresso machine.
1. Remove the water tank and fill half way with fresh water.
2. Mix your descaling powder (Citric Acid or Durgol Never use Vinegar) in a glass of warm water. When dissolved pour into water tank.
3. Open steam knob. Have a large bowl under the wand to catch the water expelled from wand.
4. Turn on machine (automatics will cycle then start pumping water) Regular espresso machines you will need to turn on the brew button.
5. When the pump has expelled about 8 ozs through the steam wand turn off only the power button. Leave the other buttons and knobs alone.
6. Wait about 10 to 15 minutes for the descaler to work, then turn the power button on and run another 8 ozs through the wand and turn off the power button.
7. Repeat step 6 until the water tank is empty. (machines that have magnets in the water tank will not let you pump the water tank dry but they have programs built in to use that will)
8. Once the tank of descaler is empty, rinse out and fill with fresh water.
9. Open steam knob and run the complete tank of fresh water through the boiler without stopping, and once its complete refill with fresh water and your ready to go.
on Jun 03, 2011 | Saeco Vienna De Luxe Espresso Machine